Saturday, January 26, 2013

Xmas present for Big Sistar

My big sistar is a very talented mural artist living on the West Coast with her family. A few years ago they sold their home & bought a... wait for it... Cape Cod style house! & because that's how my big sistar rolls, she decided to make the master bedroom red, white & blue.

After seeing my "We Can Do It!" poster pillow, she dropped a none-to-subtle hint (because subtlety does NOT run in our family) that something similar would be a welcome addition to her boudoir. I've done this pillow twice, so I was trying to think of something else, when I decided on Uncle Sam & Columbia!

Uncle Sam has a connection to the area of Upstate NY we grew up in, so I thought that would be an added bonus.

I Want You Uncle Sam

Columbia is the female personification of the USA that was especially popular in the 19th century.

My big sistar has a quirky sense of humor so I thought I would kind of play around with the "I Want You" poster & the outstretched arms of Columbia.

Columbia is welcoming

I stitched it on a flour sack towel. All my mom did was sew up the sides inside the red stripes, put a pillow form in the bottom & sew up the bottom. Now that I have taken my 1st sewing lesson & made a more complicated pillow, I don't think Mom is going to help me with something like this anymore!

Embroidery layout on flour sack towel

Friday, January 18, 2013

Teaching the next generation

This past weekend, while I was embroidering & tweeting* & watching my boys valiantly loose to the Atlanta Falcons (Yes, I am a Seattle Seahawks fan... long story), I was also attempting to teach my daughter & nephew how to embroider.

Zachary, or as Fiona calls him "Z", has been embroidering for a little over a month. He has at least one finished piece, a Moshling named Scamp, which he proudly showed his Home & Careers teacher.

Zachary started embroidering after tracing the image in pencil

Saturday he started a new project with the embroidery supplies I gave him for Christmas. This one involved crayon tinting & fabric markers. He is doing well.

Crayons and fabric markers add vibrant color

Fiona has some coordination issues, but she seems eager to try, which I am always in support of. She has been embroidering a little bit every other night this week. She chose a simple stick figure drawing from the Internet. She then traced it on a bit of cotton, wrote the words on with fabric marker & crayon tinted the shoes, faces, hair & clothes. ( I wielded the power of the iron on both projects.)

Fiona concentrating on her stitches

When teaching embroidery, especially to kids, I find it is better to let them pick out an image they are interested in, instead of some kit. Let their personalities shine through & they may surprise you!

BTW, if you want to follow me on Twitter- @aprilsongstress

Friday, January 4, 2013

Little Sistar present...

3 cousins circa 2005

This is based on a photograph I took of my nephews (brother's sons) & my daughter one Christmas at my brother's house. L-R Zachary (almost 6), Fiona (4.5), Schuyler (7). I usually just make a line drawing straight from the photograph, but in this case I had played with some software to create a coloring book type image. Don't ask me which one because I cannot remember, 7 years ago & all...

Below you can see I used my trusty light box & a #2 pencil to trace the image on 100% cotton- Kona. My little sistar has a rusty colored kitchen, so I used DMC Variations floss #69, my spring hoop & an I-have-no-idea-what-size needle. It was completed using only one stitch, outline.

Tracing image on Kona cotton  

Embroidery in progress
The framing process
I put some Warm & Natural batting between the embroidered fabric and the mat board, then folded the fabric like an envelope using hot glue to secure the edges.

Below, I cut out a piece of acid free card stock (the kind used for scrap booking) & attached it to the outside of the frame using hot glue. I wrote a note on the back for my sistar using an acid free pen.

"TO: My amazingly talented little sistar! The best P.A.N.K.* my kid could ever have. Love Tisha (Ba-tricia) & Fiona 12/2012 aprilsongstress *Professional Aunt No Kids"

Backing with acid free paper
 The completed embroidery project ready for wrapping & shipping to Las Vegas, NV.

Project complete
P.S. She loved it!